Pirates and merchants – Hanse traders and Victual Brothers in Skjernesund and other outports of southernmost Norway in the early fifteenth century

  • Frans-Arne H. Stylegar
  • Pål Nymoen
  • Gunnar Eikli
Keywords: Victual Brothers, Hanse merchants, outports, shipwrecks, piracy

Abstract

Friend or foe? Trader or pirate? Commercial shipping along the archipelago of southern Norway in the early fifteenth century could be a risky business. Hanseatic skippers must have had detailed knowledge of sailing routes and good harbours along the route past Lindesnes towards Bergen. Among a chain of good natural harbours, Skjernesund near Mandal formed a hub, a protected inner route consisting of several good harbour areas sheltered from the exposed Skagerrak north of  Skjernøya. An overview of dated shipwrecks along the coast of southern Norway is presented and their context discussed in relation to why they wrecked. It is striking that the majority of wrecks have been found in port areas. The most common  interpretation of these wrecks individually is that there are natural explanations for these as losses at sea. By comparing the written sources and historical events from the main period of these shipwrecks, it is probable that in many cases the cause was piracy. 

References

Böglunga sögur, in S. Jakobsson et al. (eds), Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar, Bǫglunga saga, Magnúss saga lagaboetis. Íslenzk fornrit, 31–32. Reykjavík: Hið íslenska fornritafélag, 2013.

Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar, in S. Jakobsson et al. (eds), Hákonar saga Hákonarsonar, Bǫglunga saga, Magnúss saga lagaboetis. Íslenzk fornrit, 31–32. Reykjavík: Hið íslenska fornritafélag, 2013.

Inga saga ok bræðra hans, in A. Finlay and A. Faulkes (trans.), Heimskringla, vol. 3: Magnús Óláfsson to Magnús Erlingsson. London: University College London.

Die Lübecker Bergenfahrer und ihre Chronistik, by F. Bruns. Berlin: Pass und Garleb, 1900.

Profectio Danorum in Hierosolymam, in A. Salvesen (trans.), Norges historie. Historien om de gamle norske kongene av Theodricus tr. Historien om danenes ferd til Jerusalem. Thorleif Dahls kulturbibliotek. Oslo: Aschehoug, 1969.

Das Seebuch, ed. A Sauer. Hamburg: Kabel, 1997.

Samlede skrifter, P. Claussøn Friis. Kristiania: A. W. Brøgger, 1881.

Alopaeus, H., and Elvestad, E. 2004. Avaldsnesskipet – et ‘nordisk’ skip fra Polen? Stavanger Sjøfartsmuseums årbok, 73–86.

Auer, J., and Maarleveld, T. (eds) 2013. Skjernøysund Wreck 3, fieldwork Report 2011. Maritime Archaeology Programme, Archaeology Reports 5. Esbjerg: University of Southern Denmark.

Beckmann, B. 1975. Der Scherbenhügel in der Siegburger Aulgasse, vol. 1. Bonn: Rheinland Verlag.

Bracker, J. 2005. Klaus Störtebeker – nur einer von ihnen. Geschichte der Vitalienbrüder, in W. Ehbrecht (ed.), Störtebeker – 600 Jahre nach seinem Tod, 57–84. Trier: Porta Alba Verlag.

Bugge, A. 1933. Den Norske Sjøfarts Historie 1. Skibsfarten fra de ældste tider til omkring aar 1600. Kristiania: Steenske forlag.

Daly, A. 2011. Dendrochronological Analysis of Oak from a Shipwreck, Skjernøysund 3, Mandal, Norway. Online report, University College Dublin: http://researchrepository.ucd.ie/handle/10197/3559

Daae, L. 1871. Martin Pechlin, en sørøverhistorie fra det sextende Aarhundre. Historisk Tidsskrift 1, 485–497.

Daae, L. 1872. Norske Bygdesagn, vol. 2. Christiania: Cappelen.

Deecke, E. 1852. Lübische Geschichten und Sagen. Lübeck: Boldemann.

Dollinger, P. 1970. The German Hansa. Princeton: Stanford University Press.

Ford, C. J. 1979. Piracy or policy: the crisis in the Channel, 1400–1403. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 29, 63–78.

Gaimster, D. 1997. German Stoneware 1200–1900. London: British Museum Press.

Gaimster, D. 1999. The Baltic ceramic market c. 1200–1600: An archaeology of the Hanse. Fennoscandia archaeologica 16, 59–69.

Grue, M.-L. P. 2010. Dutch influence on early Scandinavian carvel-constructed ships. Unpublished MPhil thesis, University of Southern Denmark.

Hellan, T. 2012. Utenlandsk mynt i Norge ca. 1350–1483. Unpublished Master thesis, Trondheim University.

Helle, K. 1982. Bergen bys historie I. Bergen: Universitetsforlaget.

Holmesland, P. 1932. Bataljen i Sundene. Bidrag til Agders historie 14, 28–35.

Holst, H. 1938. Numismatiske minner fra Hansaveldet i Norge. Norsk Numismatisk Årsskrift, 89–108.

Hundstad, D. 2012. Outport communities in the south of Norway – maritime monocultures, in R. Gorski and B. Söderqvist (eds), The Parallel Worlds of the Seafarer: Ashore, afloat and abroad, 29–48. Gothenburg: Maritime Museum & Aquarium Association of North Sea Cities.

Imsen, S., and Sandnes, J. 1987. Norges historie 4. Oslo: Cappelen.

Johannesen, J. 2011. Rapport kulturmiljø Skjernøysund. Oslo: Norsk Maritimt Museum.

Kelleher, C. 2013. Pirate ports and harbours of west Cork in the early seventeenth century. Journal of Maritime Archaeology 8, 347–366.

Krause, K. E. H. 1887. Marten Pechlin, in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie vol. 25, 308–309, ed. Historische Kommission der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Leipzig: Dunker & Humblot.

Lloyd, T. H. 2002. England and the German Hanse, 1157–1611. A Study of their Trade and Commercial Diplomacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Mayzlish, A. 2010. Flemish Towns: Maritime Trade and Fighting with Piracy in the Beginning of the XVth century. Unpublished conference paper, European Association for Urban History, Ghent, 2010.

Nymoen, P. 2012. Hansaspor. Norsk Maritimt Museum årbok, 195–211.

Nævestad, D. 1998. Lokaliserte middelaldervrak i Øst-Norge. Norsk Sjøfartsmuseum årbok, 159–207.

Pitcaithly, W. M. E. 2011. Pirates, Robbers and Other Malefactors. The role played by violence at sea in relations between England and the Hanse towns 1385–1420. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Exeter.

Puhle, M. 2005. Die Vitalienbrüder – Söldner, Seeräuber? in W. Ehbrecht (ed.), Störtebeker – 600 Jahre nach seinem Tod, 15–21. Trier: Porta Alba Verlag.

Puhle, M. 2012. Die Vitalienbrüder. Klaus Störtebeker und die Seeräuber der Hansezeit. Frankfurt: Campus Verlag.

Rohman, G. 2007. Der Kaperfahrer Johann Stortebeker aus Danzig. Beobachtungen zur Geschichte der ‘Vitalienbrüder’. Hansische Geschichtsblätter 125, 77–119.

Schmidt, H. 2005. Das östliche Friesland um 1400. Territorialpolitische Strukturen und Bewegungen, in W. Ehbrecht (ed.), Störtebeker – 600 Jahre nach seinem Tod, 85–109. Trier: Porta Alba Verlag.

Stylegar, F.-A. H. 2014. Tragedien ved Hidra 23. juli 1406, in J. H. Trelsgård (ed.), Bygdebok for Hidra herred. Gård og slekt, vol. 1, 23–25. Flekkefjord: Flekkefjord historielag.

Teisen, M. 1994. A medieval clinker built wreck at Hundevika, Norway, in C. Westerdahl (ed.), Crossroads in Ancient Shipbuilding: proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology, Roskilde, 1991, ISBSA 6, 74–76. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Tøssebro, C. 2012. Wine and power. A spatial and stratigraphical study of the pottery and glass assemblages from the wine cellar in Bergen, Norway. Historische Archäologie 2012. Published online http://www.histarch.uni-kiel.de/HistArch_2012_high.pdf [last access december 2017].

Wahlöö, C. 1976. Keramik 1000–1600 i svenska fynd. Archaeologica Lundensia VI. Lund: Lunds universitet.

Walvik, E. P. 1956. Skjernøya: Gamle minner og slekter. Mandal: Salvesen.
Published
2020-01-06
How to Cite
Stylegar, F.-A. H., Nymoen, P., & Eikli, G. (2020). Pirates and merchants – Hanse traders and Victual Brothers in Skjernesund and other outports of southernmost Norway in the early fifteenth century. AmS-Skrifter, (27), 245-257. https://doi.org/10.31265/ams-skrifter.v0i27.277
Views
  • Abstract 358
  • pdf 938